Saturday, January 03, 2015

SEC Preview/Predictions

We finish the non-conference slate at 10-3, which if you go back to the season predictions posts, is actually 2 games better than both Bobbyjack and I predicted.  We don't have any "quality wins" yet, but we've at least avoided the bad losses, so that's improvement over the last 2 or 3 seasons.  The conference actually appears to be improved this year, so we should have a few chances to pick up those top 100 and top 50 wins we will need to make the NCAA tournament.  I'm sticking with my 10-8 conference record prediction, which depending on where those 10 wins comes will likely put us square on the bubble.  We need to knock off a top 50 team and win a couple of games on the road.

Here's my prediction for the final SEC standings based on what I've seen so far.  Feel free to post yours in the comments, it will be fun to look back at this in March and realize how far off we are.  

1. Kentucky-  No brainer,not only are they the best team in the country, but they are the best in the nation, and may end up being one of the best of all time.  That being said, I still think they lose a road game somewhere.  It may as well be in Tuscaloosa in a couple of weeks.  


2. Florida- Don't be fooled by their 7-5 record.  They lost a lot from last year, have played a brutal schedule (Georgetown, Kansas, UNC), and have had a lot of injuries.  They are getting healthy and Donovan will have this team dancing by the end of the year.  

3. Arkansas- Mike Anderson seems poised to finally make a run.  They are 10-2, but like us, are lacking the quality wins.  They lost badly to Iowa State and dropped a close one to Clemson.  

4.  Georgia- They are 8-3, but with good wins over Colorado, Seton Hall, and Kansas State.  There's no shame in losses to Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, and Minnesota, and they've been competitive in every game.  

5. LSU- A very talented, deep, overall team, especially in the front court.  They have an impressive road win already on their resume over top 20 West Virginia, but a head scratching loss to Old Dominion.  Of course, ODU is 11-1, so maybe that won't be such a bad loss after all.  I would have them higher, but I'm still not sold on Johnny Jones as coach.  

6. Alabama- We could go as high as 2 or 3, or as low as 10 or 11.  I decided to split the difference.  

7.  South Carolina- They are 8-3 with a nice win over Oklahoma State and a big game today against Iowa State.  With the exception of 2 losses in a preseason tournament in Charleston to Akron and Charlotte, they've played well.  I expect this is the season we start to see some improvement from Frank Martin's squad, but inconsistency will still be a problem.  

8.  Tennessee- Speaking of inconsistent, this is a difficult team to figure out. They are 8-4 against a pretty tough schedule, with nice wins over Butler and K-state, but they've flirted with some bad losses and generally not played well away from home. I have them at 8, but would not be surprised if they finish in the top 4 in the league.  

9.  Texas A&M-  They are 8-3 and sort of like us with no real impressive wins or bad losses.  This is a team to watch for the future, they have a top 5 recruiting class committed which is no surprise given $tansbury's employment there.  

10.  auburn-  They will win a few they aren't supposed to, and Bruce Pearl has already brought some excitement to what has been  a dreadful program for most of its existence.  They are 7-5, with a good win over Xavier, but bad losses to Coastal Carolina and Tulsa.  

11.  Vanderbilt - 9-3, no real quality wins but their losses were to respectable teams (Rutgers, Baylor, and Georgia Tech).  They will always be a pain in Nashville because of their ridiculous gym, and while they should be improved from last season, I still don't seem them as a contender.  

12. Ole Miss- They are 8-4, but oddly only 3-3 at home. They have a good neutral site win over top 25 Creighton, but home losses to Charleston Southern, TCU, and Western Kentucky. It will be interesting to see how they adjust to life after Marshall Mathers, I mean Henderson.

13.  Mizzou-  It's a transition year with new coach Kim Anderson.  It's almost like they are trying too hard to fit into the SEC, they've won the East in football but a once proud basketball program is stinking it up at 5-7.  I'm cutting them some slack because they've played a brutal schedule (Arizona, Purdue, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Illinois), but they lost to UMKC (which I honestly didn't even know existed until I saw that score).

14. Mississippi State- They are 7-6, including an impressive 19 point loss at home to McNeese State.  They will finish dead last where they belong, and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.  


CTider said...

1.Kentucky 2. Arkansas 3. LSU 4. Georgia. 5. Alabama. I'm not sure why you're so high on Florida. They are now 7-6, with absolutely no quality wins and an RPI well outside the top 100. Barring a 14-4, 15-3 SEC miracle they are not going to make the NCAAT.

DJC said...

Bobby, in fairness, the 5 writers on this blog could beat the ny bricks right now. Sorry, couldn't resist, Go Bulls :)

RichTide said...

1. Kentucky. Caliparia is the Saban of CBB
2. Arkansas. Anderson getting close to reestablishing 40 min of hell
3. Florida. Don't ever count Eddie Munster out. No matter how bad they look.
4. LSU. Too much talent. Program on a quick rise. You don't get 5 stars committing to LSU basketball for no reason.
5. Ole Miss. Addition by subtraction. With Eminem gone, Rebs will be better. Jarvis Summers a baller. Andy Kennedy hasn't had a bad team yet.
6. UGa. I really hate a particular asst coach for personal reasons so won't be upset if the Dawgs fare much worse. Fox is a good coach and hs effort is starting to show. Too bad he hired a scumbag.
7. Bama. If Grant can get consistent play out of Kessens and Taylor, we could surprise. If not, once again we have no outside shooting to survive in league play.
8. Vandy. Stallings is one of the best coaches in the league. He will coach is young team up. No one will want to play Vandy in the SEC tourney.
9. Gamecocks. Martin slowly but surely building a top 25 program. Doesn't have the horses just yet.
10. Aggies. Kennedy will figure out a way to win a couple he shouldn't.
11. Tennessee. Josh Richardson is the best player in the league not on the Wildcats. If he had any support they would be better.
12. Auburn. Enjoy beating the Aubs while you can. This may be the only year to do it. The jump to the top half of the league next year and within top 3 within 2.
13. Missouri. Tought situation for the new coach. No talent and high expectations.
14. Miss $tate. Dumpster fire. Anyone that loses to them should be pubilcly scorned and humiliated.